Half of Americans Prefer Having Dinner for a First Date

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

From skydiving to singing karaoke, the first date has evolved drastically in America.

However, it looks like the majority of Americans still prefer to go old-school with their dating.

According to a study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, 49% of Americans would rather go to dinner for a first date than meet for coffee or drinks.

Among the most likely demographics to choose dinner was African-Americans and middle-income wage earners.

African-American men and women were 67% more likely to pick a meal with someone than Asian-Americans, while those earning between $50,000 and $74,999 a year were 49% more likely to do so than those earning between $100,000 and $124,999 annually.

At 51%, going to dinner for a first date seemed most popular among younger Americans versus 43% of Americans aged 54 to 64.

“Forty-nine percent of Americans would

rather go to dinner for a first date.”

DatingAdvice.com expert Gina Stewart said the results prove dinner dates have a strong foothold as the go-to first date.

“They plug you in for a longer period of time. If you feel potential with your date, this is a good thing,” she said. “You have to eat anyway and having company and a good meal makes it more enjoyable. If you’re down to show off your old-school generosity toward your date, this is easy decision for you.”

Region also played a large role in the results.

Southerners were the ones most in favor of tradition, with more than half supporting dinner. The least likely to agree were those living in the Northeast, where only 43% selected dinner with a date.

Gay Americans and divorcees were some of the least likely groups to answer in the affirmative.

One in two straight respondents said they would rather go to dinner with a first date compared to one in three of their gay counterparts.

Half of singles who have never been married chose dinner, but just 42% of divorced men and women did.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: Americans Who Prefer Having Dinner for a First Date

By gender:

  • Male: 49%
  • Female: 48%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 50%
  • Gay: 32%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 50%
  • Married: 49%
  • Divorced: 42%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 51%
  • 25 to 34: 53%
  • 35 to 44: 50%
  • 45 to 54: 47%
  • 54 to 64: 43%
  • 65 and older: 49%

By race:

  • White: 47%
  • African-American: 65%
  • Hispanic: 47%
  • Asian: 39%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 53%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 47%
  • $50,000 to $74,999: 55%
  • $75,000 to $99,999: 45%
  • $100,000 to $124,999: 37%
  • $125,000 or higher: 47%

By region:

  • Northeast: 43%
  • Midwest: 46%
  • South: 54%
  • West: 48%

Visit DatingAdvice.com/Studies for more research on dating and relationship topics. 

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